Thursday, June 03, 2010

Nobody's Perfect

Armando Galarraga loses a perfect game on a terrible call. Fact is; Jim Joyce blew it. Galarraga had 26 outs in his back pocket. And he had his foot on the bag and the ball in his glove. He was seconds away from celebrating until Jim Joyce blew the call. In Joyce’s defense, he is looking at the play but mostly listening for the sound of foot on base and ball in glove. The way Galarraga caught it, the ball got snow-coned in his glove, maybe not making the sound Joyce is used to hearing.

Armando Galarraga clearly had the ball and was on the base before the runner

A lot of people are saying Galarraga was “robbed” of a perfect game. As Archie Bunker pointed out, you can’t be robbed of something you never had. He made that point referring to the perfect game of Harvey Haddix. Haddix pitched 12 perfect innings but since the game was tied at zero, he went to the 13th and ended up losing the game on a home run to Joe Adcock (who passed Hank Aaron on the bases and only got credit for a single). So that’s not a perfect game.

Neither was Ernie Shore’s. In 1917 Shore entered the game after the starting pitcher was ejected after walking the first batter. That pitcher was Babe Ruth by the way. The baserunner was thrown out trying to steal and Shore retired the next 26 batters in a row. But’s that not a perfect game.

Nor will Galarraga’s game be marked in the history books as one. There are calls for Bud Selig to retroactively reverse the call and restore the perfect game. That’s preposterous, and unnecessary. Everyone knows Galarraga pitched a perfect game. He can sleep at night secure with his accomplishment and will be remembered that way. In fact, the uniqueness and misfortune will assure him an even better place in the memories of baseball fans.

Who cares what’s written in the record books? Those are the same record books that say Barry Bonds is the all-time home run king.


jleary said...

At least Joyce was classy enough to admit he was wrong and go to the lockerroom to personally apologize the Galaraga

Bill said...

The difference is there is indisputable evidence that Galaraga pitched a perfect game. I agree you can't set the precedence and that the integrity shown by the ump and player, should eclipse the bad call. Still, it would be nice to just give the kid the perfect game since he earned it. Institute replay.

Reissberg said...

Lost in the shuffle: the composure Galaraga showed in getting the next guy out; the great catch by Austin Jackson for the first out in the 9th; and the throw by Cabrera on that last "out."